Nov. 2, 2012
Orlando, Fla. – Freshman Nathan Rakitt registered Georgia Tech’s only win in five tries Friday in singles competition at the USTA Clay Court Invitational, and the Yellow Jackets dropped their only doubles match.
Rakitt, from Marietta, Ga., advanced in the Garnet (or second) Draw, taking out Columbia’s Eric Rubin in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5. He will take on George Goldhoff of Irvine, Calif., in a quarterfinal match Saturday.
Meanwhile, senior Juan Melian lost a straight-set match to Florida State’s Jordan Kelly-Houston, 6-4, 6-3, in the top (Gold) draw. Sophomore Eduardo Segura lost in three sets, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, in the Garnet Draw, while freshmen Garrett Gordon and Anish Sharma dropped matches in the third (Spear) draw.
“Based solely on today’s results, I’m glad we aren’t playing the season on clay courts,” said Tech head coach Kenny Thorne. “The competition is very good down here. Our opponents were all very good and we almost broke out to have a good day. However, it didn’t happen. We will have to maintain patience tomorrow but be bold at the right moments.
“Clay courts don’t give us as high of a return for the risk taken. Our shot selection has to remain solid over a longer period of time. It is great mental training. We look forward to tomorrow.”
Melian, Segura and Sharma will continue in consolation draws Saturday.
Rakitt and Melian dropped a tie-breaker in the Gold Doubles Draw, 9-8 (4), Tom Jomby and Kai-Wen Lai. Segura and Sharma received a bye Friday and will face Florida Atlantic’s Will Neuner and Jose Fantova Saturday.
USTA CLAY COURT INVITATIONAL
Disney’s Wide World of Sports, Orlando, Fla.
Gold Singles Draw
Jordan Kelly-Houston (Florida State) d. Juan Melian, 6-4, 6-3
Gold Singles Consolation
Juan Melian vs. Grant Ive (Tulsa), Saturday
Gold Doubles Draw
Tom Jomby/Kai-Wen Lai (Kentucky) d. Rakitt/Melian, 9-8 (4)
Garnet Doubles Draw
Segura/Sharma bye, vs. Will Neuner/Jose Fantova (Florida Atlantic) Saturday